Words are empty,
When the speaker dares to speak.
But let her be gone forever,
Her word awaits her return.

Amahle ngwanaka!
Across the seven skies of exceeding whiteness,
They have heard of your name.
Without flesh and blood,
Your heart beats through the veins of earth.

In the warmth of four corners,
The silence of intangible openness,
Your breath journeys,
Through the ear of its tenderness.
And in its wakefulness,
You retreat to its untruthful core.

Amahle ngwanaka!
The daughter I have.
The daughter I lost.
The daughter I heavily dread for.

When the night foresees darkness,
I wear black in the eyes.
When the night unveils his face,
I let go of tolerance.

Morning creeps into sight,
Through the pores in my skin.
And I die bitterly with realism.

To turn to sun,
Is to welcome a ray of doubt.
Moon won’t bring a world that holds a grudge,
Closer to me.

Amahle ngwanaka!
Tears mean nothing,
If I see emptiness of sky.
Pain is deep,
But shallow in the feel of your untouchable presence.

A face imagined.
A memory lingering.
A touch yearned for.
A bond fastened to the afterlife.

Mother has no scar,
For there is a rawness,
Where I carried you.

Mother plots,
Her hunger swallows smokeless fires.
Mother limps and crawls into the grave,
But mother sits and counts the days until your return.

Mother murmurs.
She bows her head mournfully,
And travels in her sleep,
But mother knows not of surrender.

A pinch of snuff,
Mother kneels on the harsh earth.
She cups her apologetic hands,
To placate heads of greatness.
Blood of animals splatters her please,
But mother knows not of fulfillment.

Amahle ngwanaka!
The unknown dances in the hollows of my eyes.
It is reborn inside my head.
I, a hunter of survival,
Answers to a cry of innocence,
Each time I see a child pass by.

Inhuman figures float overhead.
Spirits penetrate their forms,
To remind me of the unknown.
I look to their gathering,
And it interrupts my grief.

They know of the footsteps,
That are heavy on the backbone of our land.
Soles tattered, toes stiffening,
Bereft of a path to follow,
Yet, they walk on.
Onto the cracks we have created,
With our bloodthirsty ache.

Today is another day.
Tomorrow might come.
My eyes look on.
I stand waterish.
My insides dig in,
Into the background of what used to be.

Sons of bitches!
No mother has reared the face of a demon,
Nor has she given birth to such.
Before Africa expels the stench of your deeds,
Bring back Amahle!


Meaning of Sepedi words: Ngwanaka – My child.





Photo by Clement Eastwood from Pexels